William Harper who studied and worked in the potteries all his life, is the creator of Doultonville, the city as well as all the cities larger than life characters, which he portrayed in his range of small size toby jugs.
Doultonville in the Bill Harpers words:
‘I first became interested in Doultonville many years ago when by a strange mishap I was stranded in that lovely old city, but that is a tale that cannot be told here. Some years later I returned and settled there and the lives of the many inhabitants became familiar to me. I had the idea that I would capture all their lives in a novel (with assumed names, of course). Then the thought occurred to me of immortalising them as a series of ceramic figures. The old Latin word for fiction is ‘fingere’ means also ‘to fashion in clay’, so I was persuaded and Doultonville came to life. The characters of this ancient but still thriving city have become toby jugs to continue a long Potteries’ tradition which began in the eighteenth century.
As you may know, Doultonville lies by the sea in a picturesque bay overlooked by lofty headlands where there are many beautiful walks. It’s small harbour has fishing boats and on its sandy beach the summer visitors enjoy the sun. Behind the seafront on a hill the mellow stone buildings of the Old City, with its Roman wall and twin-spired Cathedral, cluster together while across the river over fine bridges, the modern city centre and shops merge into the houses that rise towards the broad moorlands and rolling farmland which enclose Doultonville with sheltering arms and give it an air of timelessness, as if it was not a real place at all.’
What a wonderful place Doultonville must have been to visit for Bill Harper, an escape to the surreal second to none I am sure and a world I often try to escape to myself when I look at my collection of Royal Doulton, Doultonville toby jugs.
For more on Royal Doulton visit my website http://www.royaldoultonguide.com